Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has responded to Ramiz Raja, saying that India is a sporting superpower and no country can overlook the nation. He was responding to PCB chairman who had earlier threatened to pull out of 2023 ODI World Cup in a tit-for-tat response to India’s pull out from 2023 Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan.
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“Wait for the right time. India is a major power in the world of sports and no country can overlook India," Thakur told ANI, responding Raja who had earlier told Urdu News: “Our position is blunt that if they (Indian team) come then we will go to the World Cup, if they don’t come then let them do it. Let them play without Pakistan. If Pakistan does not participate in the World Cup scheduled in India next year, who will see it? We will adopt an aggressive approach, our team is showing performance, we have defeated the biggest business-making cricket team in the world, we have played the final of the T20 World Cup."
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“I have always said that we have to improve the economy of Pakistan cricket and that will only happen when our team performs well, we have done it in the 2021 T20 World Cup. Beat India, we beat India in the Asia Cup, Pakistan cricket team has beaten the board of billion dollar economy twice in one year," Ramiz Raja was quoted as saying by Urdu News.
Raja resumed hostilities after BCCI Secretary Jay Shah in October had said that they might not send the Indian team to Pakistan due to security issues.
After Shah’s remarks about holding Asia Cup at a neutral venue, the PCB issued a statement that it can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023.
“The overall impact of such statements has the potential to split the Asian and international cricketing communities and can impact Pakistan’s visit to India for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and future ICC Events in India in the 2024-2031 cycle," PCB had said then.
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Following PCB’s statement, Thakur had said that India will host the 2023 WC with all teams. “It is an internal matter of BCCI and it will handle the issue smartly. We have not done anything wrong yet while hosting international tournaments before. We have hosted World Cup successfully before and all teams participated happily. We will host the tournament next year and all teams will play in it," Thakur had said in October.
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